By Terrica Bellamy, News Writer

Veterans Day was originally celebrated to honor Americans who served in World War I. This holiday is celebrated on November 11, the anniversary of the day World War I ended in 1918.

Veterans Day is known to honor all Veterans for fighting and sacrificing their lives for our country.

Americans who have lost a loved one really take this day very seriously. Soldiers are honored and remembered on this day.

“A memory I have from being in the military is the fellows I…served with in the combat unit,” Officer Clarence Black, School Resource Officer, said.  “I remember all the good times we had.  It felt great, and I completed 20 years of service, and it meant a lot and still does.  Everybody doesn’t have the opportunity to say that.  I am a proud Veteran.”

On Veterans Day many people take time to visit memorials and graves of the people who have passed away fighting in wars while serving.

The Keenan JROTC Battalion traveled down Sumter Street along with marching bands and JROTC students from other schools in the Veterans Day Parade.

The parade affects the students tremendously because they take it very seriously; they understand the purpose.

“It makes me feel important and like I have a greater purpose,” Senior Matthew Cook, Battalion Commander, said.

Some of the JROTC students may consider going into the military because of the purpose and pride it brings.

“I would like to go into the military for at least 10 years and do all the service that I can complete during my time,” Cook said.

Cook and other people like him will have to get used to being away from their families for a while, which plays a big part in going into the military.

“A memory I have is waking up for the first time early in the morning, while my kids were still asleep and kiss them knowing I have to deploy overseas without being able to see them for a whole year,” Major Walter Savage, JROTC Instructor, said.  “That actually stays with me.”

The Veterans Day Parade was important and still is important to Veterans, students, teachers and many families.

Senior Matthew Cook, Keenan’s JROTC Battallion Commander, prepares to lead cadets in Columbia’s recent Veterans Day Parade. “It makes me feel important and like I have a greater purpose,” Cook said of his experience.  Photo by Stanique Wilson, Special to The Sword and Shield.